Strange decision by the BTP

22 February 2016

Mick Whelan, general secretary of ASLEF, the train drivers’ union, has responded to the announcement that the British Transport Police is inviting bids to provide retraining courses for drivers who disobey signals at level crossings. The courses will be offered as an alternative to criminal proceedings in England and Wales and might also be introduced in Scotland ‘should disposal methods in Scotland change to include an awareness course for this type of offence.’

Mick said: ‘I find it really strange that when our members make a mistake, they lose their livelihood. But when someone else makes a mistake, or commits a deliberate act, he or she gets retrained. In fact, I think it’s ridiculous, because the fines and sentences for this sort of offence are already much too weak. When someone disobeys the signals at a level crossing they put not just their own life at risk, and the lives of people in their vehicle, but the lives of our members, the train drivers, and other railway staff, and the lives of up to 1,000 passengers on the train, too.The British Transport Police is sending out the wrong message by offering retraining as an alternative to criminal prosecutions.’

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